Our primary school is 50 Min away!

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Bonnijump
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Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby Bonnijump » Thu May 09, 2013 3:14 pm

Hi there,

we applied for a place for reception for our child. We hoped so much to get a place in a local school, we live just 4 Min away from Honeywell. Now we're on the waiting list, but no real chance to get in.

But the most shocking is, that the only public school they can offer us a place for is in Steward Road. It will take us 50 Min (!) with London Transport to get there! I just can't believe that they expect families to travel this far to go to Primary school. This is so crazy!

I fully understand that families with more than one child should have the opportunity to bring their children to the same school.( I've been told there are 50 siblings this year for Honeywell). But if they no longer live in this area it's just unfair to take the places from the local living families. That also means more traffic around the school, which makes crossing more dangerous. Not to mention the harm to the invironment.

I'm going to write a letter to Wandsworth council. But not sure if that will bring much change...

What do you think about this situation?

We're just glad to have a place and the money to go privat. But what's with all the others?
dansk1234dance
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby dansk1234dance » Thu May 09, 2013 3:26 pm

Hey there

May I be really cheeky and ask in which road you live, please?

I live to far away from Honey well (700 m) , so I've always known I had to go private. In fact out of my 6 choices, I was given none.

I must admit, that if I lived that close to HW or BV I too would be very disappointed.
livegreen
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby livegreen » Thu May 09, 2013 3:46 pm

Not sure the council can do much about this as its legal. Some schools are putting tighter checks in place for new families, however not sure this would help with existing sibling policy.
Both Honeywell (foundation school) and Belleville (academy) are responsible for their own admissions and both like to be seen as local schools for local families.
My only suggestion is to write to the schools and their governing bodies to see if they are willing to put anything in place to curb the practice of getting into the school and then moving away. You would probably need evidence that this is a real problem and I am not sure how you would obtain the evidence needed.
Good luck.

NB I am surprised you didn't get a place at High View which is only 20 mins walk.
dinosaur
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby dinosaur » Thu May 09, 2013 5:25 pm

Hello Bonnijump, I'm so sorry to hear you are in this situation. I would have thought that living 4 minutes from Honeywell would eventually get you a place there from the waiting list, so perhaps all hope is not lost.

I too am surprised that the LEA didn't offer you Alderbrook or Highview. 40 minutes to get to school each day is just not acceptable. I hope you find yourself in a better situation soon.

I agree with you about the danger of having too many families drive to Honeywell and Belleville. I can see why they would want to keep families together, but the problem is escalating and if it is true that a high number of families move out once their first child has a place, then surely the community feel of the school will also be eroded. Perhaps there are families already in the schools that feel this is the case and will have more leverage in talking to the governing bodies, as they are current parents.
klw
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby klw » Thu May 09, 2013 7:50 pm

We are in the same situation: every other year we would've (eventually!) got into belleville, but this year we are pretty far down the waiting list and the council have told me that they would be amazed if we get offered a place. We were badly disadvantaged by the change in the way the distance is measured. We've been offered a school about 45 minutes walk in each direction and did not get offered high view or wix.

We are going to go privately (which was something we were considering anyway) but I am upset that we have been forced into it and really feel for those to whom this is not an option. To be frank, we would be selling up and moving if we could not stretch to the school fees.
HSD
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby HSD » Thu May 09, 2013 8:31 pm

Hi,

I am aware of so many people in your situation, it is terrible.

We live on Berber Rd, and luckily have a place at Belleville this year. However, the houses either side of us are rented, and each year are generally occupied by families wanting to get their children into Belleville. As soon as they secure a place, they move or return to their homes elsewhere, outside the catchment area.

It infuriates me. Belleville and Honeywell are meant to be schools for children who's families genuinely reside locally. The schools or Council, or both, need to find a way to stop people manipulating the entrance system.
tgjmummy
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby tgjmummy » Fri May 10, 2013 9:43 am

Hello. I suspect we will be in the same position in a couple of years. Ridiculous when both schools are so close. I would suggest that you write directly to Honeywell and Belleville, as the Council says that it does not have any power to influence the admissions policy. How true this is I do not know.

I would also suggest you drop Jane Ellison an email. She is also a Governor at Honeywell. Her email address is: jane.ellison.mp@parliament.uk. She came to talk to my husband and I and was sympathetic but essensially said change would have to come from the Governors. She said the one thing that would possibly influence Honeywell to review its policy was if it felt that its reputation in the local community was suffering. I think we may have reached this point now. If 50 of the 90 places go to siblings, then a further 20 places go to renters. It is easy to see why the catchment is so miniscule.
Monkey_mami
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby Monkey_mami » Fri May 10, 2013 11:13 am

I feel your pain, last year we ad a harrowing wait while moving up on the wait lst.

In the mean time, have the council keep you on the wait list for your preferred schools and after the lists get handed back to the schools (in July, I think) if you'd consider moving your child after the start of the school year or even after reception. And please do consider High View which is close by and a lovely school with much-impoved Ofsted reports.

Best of luck to you!
lindylindylindy
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby lindylindylindy » Fri May 10, 2013 11:15 am

Hi there

Just wanted to say, don't lose hope.

We moved to Webbs Road from Putney and were travelling up to 3 hours a day to my daughter's Primary school there. I applied to Belleville and Honeywell with little hope of every getting in. However a girl from my daughters year left Honeywell, so within 3 months of arriving to Webbs Road she was offered a place at Honeywell! Also my neices were at Belleville and moved away, one in Yr 5 and one in Yr 3 freeing up two places. So it is possible.

Wish you all the best.
Audrey
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby Audrey » Fri May 10, 2013 11:52 am

I don't understand - you say you live 4 min from Honeywell School and you didn't get in Honeywell. What about the other 5 choices that hopefully you put down on your application? Still did not get offered a place?

Given the recent change in admission criteria of distance being measured in straight line, all known "catchments" were expected to shrink, so really no point in limiting yourself to one or two schools (even though they are your closest). I assume you did put your maximum of 6 choices down on your application, not only Honeywell.
mummo
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby mummo » Fri May 10, 2013 1:00 pm

I'm sure I read on nvn somewhere that Tooting Graveney is putting in place checks which should address the issue of short term renters. If Honeywell and Belleville are able to control their own admissions this is presumably something they could also consider doing?
clapset
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby clapset » Fri May 10, 2013 1:15 pm

if you don't live or work full time in the area your kid shouldn't go to the school ... i walked to my primary school and I expect my kid to do the same.

these schools should be petitioned to cater for people immediately local to them and no one else. if you move out - take your kids with you
asouth
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby asouth » Fri May 10, 2013 2:20 pm

Hi Bonnijump

I can only imagine what a stressful situation that is. I recently posted a question to ask which schools people were offered who live round me as I will be going through this process next year.

I am also about a 4/5 minute walk from Honeywell. Like others I would be really interested to know which roads you are by. I am assuming that getting into Honeywell and Belleville will be a pipe dream. What other schools did you put down?

Can anyone else recommend any other state schools in the area - Alderbrook for example?

Many thanks
dinosaur
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby dinosaur » Fri May 10, 2013 3:53 pm

Yes,

I believe that Graveney have made it a condition this year that applicants have been in residence for 2 years at their home before the application date. This would address the problem of short-term renters.

Perhaps someone who has been involved in the Graveney process this year could give us the exact details.

If the OP did indeed have Alderbrook and High View on her list of 6 choices and was not allocated a place at either of those schools either, this is really a crazy situation and this might be the year that the schools / LEA feel forced to address it. You don't have to confirm your address Bonnijump (that is really asking too much in my view), but just let us know if you were also turned down for those other 2 schools that are relatively close.
ellesmum
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Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!

Postby ellesmum » Fri May 10, 2013 8:27 pm

Just wanted to say that although having some sort of rule in place regarding short-term renters moving into the area specifically for the school place and with the intention of moving out and back to their permanent property as soon as the place is secured is long overdue, having a "2 year" rule would have a huge adverse effect on families like mine. We genuinely rent, and do not own any other home, but due to a succession of unscrupulous, greedy, and, in some cases, downright negligent landlords who have had no respect for us or the law, we have had to move 4 times in 5 years. It's horrible, we hate moving so often and if we were to be be penalised in terms of our daughter being forced to change school each time, it would be devastating. Personally, I would launch a legal challenge if my daughter's school place was threatened as a result of us moving within two years of moving to a property, because I think it is extremely unfair and prejudicial against non-home owners to do this.

In terms of being offered a school you are really not happy with, we were in that position last year and I really feel for you. I have never experienced stress like it! All I can say is hold your nerve - a place at a more suitable school will come up. Call the council weekly to check your waiting list positions and if you are relatively close to the top of the list, call the school directly to ask their opinion on how likely they think you are to be offered a place. We started at about 34th on the waiting list for Swaffield and made it in in the first two weeks of term. Don't lost hope yet!